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New Hampshire lawmakers at stalemate on abortion

New Hampshire Statehouse Associated Press/Photo by Holly Ramer

New Hampshire lawmakers at stalemate on abortion

The state’s House of Representatives rejected a measure on Thursday attempting to enshrine  in the state constitution a right to kill unborn babies up to the point of 24 weeks in the womb. Representatives also rejected two pro-life bills the same day: one protecting babies from being aborted after 15 days of gestation, and the other tightening regulation of abortions performed after 15 weeks of gestation.

If a bill is only regulating abortion, but still allowing it, how is it pro-life? Current New Hampshire law allows babies to be aborted up to 24 weeks in the womb, with some exceptions. HB-1541, or the Fetal Life Protection Act, would require that all abortions performed after 15 weeks take place at a hospital with a neonatal ICU. It also requires that a second doctor be present for the abortion, who would “make all reasonable attempts to preserve the life of the unborn child.” The bill would further establish that “a child born under such circumstances shall be considered a person,” and would allow for criminal prosecution if life-saving measures are not taken for the child.

How close did the measures come to passing? House Constitutional Amendment 23, or the bill that would have enshrined a right to abortion in the state constitution, garnered a 193-184 vote in support of the amendment but failed to win the three-fifths majority to pass. A motion from the floor was made to “Indefinitely Postpone” HB-1248, rendering it inactive. Legislators also voted to adopt the committee report of "inexpedient to legislate” for HB-1541, stopping the measure.

Dig deeper: Read Leah Savas’ report in WORLD Magazine on mothers and doctors suing Texas over abortion protections.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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